SAS enlists aid for wild-cat strike

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The Independent Online
THOSE derring-do lads from the SAS - motto Who Dares Wins - have been forced to call in the Cat Protection League to control a burgeoning colony of wild cats that is threatening to overrun their base, writes Simon Midgley.

Armed with special Ministry of Defence police passes, volunteers from the league have been allowed into the Special Air Service's headquarters near Hereford to lay traps baited with pilchards. The cats, which have lived in hedges and bushes on the base for the past 12 years, have traditionally been regarded by the SAS as a useful weapon in the fight against vermin - controlling the number of rats and mice on the site. But recently, the regiment became worried that the feline population was getting out of hand.

Colette Coleman, 31, a Cat Protection League volunteer, said: 'A lot of people living near the base complained because the cats rummage through their bins. The SAS colonel asked us to come up with a long-term solution. They certainly had a problem - one cat can be responsible for 20,000 descendants in its lifetime.'

To date, 10 cats have been caught, neutered and returned to the base and the volunteers are hoping to round up the remainder in the next six months.

Last night, an army spokesman confirmed that the Cat Protection League had been drafted in but declined to elaborate any further - something about not letting any more cats out of the bag, apparently.